The world today is full of diet trends and every year a new wave of medical studies influences the way people eat. Food manufacturers are constantly changing their recipes and their marketing strategies to draw in consumers by promising them ever-healthier options. Many individuals all over the world take their health seriously, watching what they eat to make sure they get enough vitamins and minerals in their diets while others simply take vitamin and mineral supplements to achieve adequate daily dosage. Potassium is one of the minerals most frequently under discussion among health experts and consumers alike. How much potassium should you get from your daily diet? Is it healthy to eat a lot of potassium rich foods? What happens if you do not have enough potassium in your diet? All of these questions are good questions to ask and knowing the answers can make a big difference in your health.
What are potassium rich foods?
There are many natural sources of potassium including fruits, vegetables, and several proteins. Fruits like bananas, prunes, oranges, kiwi, mango, cantaloupe, honeydew, and all dried fruit are good sources of potassium. Potassium rich vegetables include avocado, tomato, potato, sweet potato, brussel sprouts, spinach, asparagus, beets, artichoke, and carrots. Salmon, dark-meat poultry, beef, pinto beans, lima beans, soy, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are proteins which also contain beneficial levels of potassium. When consuming potassium rich foods it is important to consume them in the most natural form possible – the more heavily processed a food is, the more of its nutrients are lost.
Is potassium good for my body?
There are many health benefits associated with potassium rich foods. Potassium is critical for regulating blood pressure and healthy heart function and it can also regulate fluid levels and assist recuperative powers. It promotes faster healing of cuts and scrapes and acts as a natural pain desensitizer, controlling headaches and migraines. As with any vitamin or mineral, however, it is possible to have too much potassium in your body which can lead to problems. An overdose on potassium, known as hyperkalemia, can lead to stomach cramps, muscle spasms, weak pulse, tiredness, and heart failure. Individuals with kidney problems are at an especially high risk for hyperkalemia because the kidneys control potassium excretion – having too much potassium in the system can lead to a fatal cardiac arrhythmia.
How much potassium should I get?
Most research suggests that 2,000 to 3,000mg of potassium per day is adequate. The majority of your daily dose of potassium should come from natural sources including potassium rich foods, but it is possible to supplement your diet with potassium tablets. Most potassium supplements have 99mg of potassium, a small amount, but you should not exceed this dosage because too much of the supplement can irritate your stomach because it is not absorbed as well by the body as natural sources of potassium are. Whether you choose natural sources, supplements, or both it is important to maintain a healthy level of potassium in your diet. Potassium deficiency can lead to poor circulation, earaches and headaches, heart palpitations, muscle weakness, even Chronic-Fatigue Syndrome. By eating potassium rich foods you can avoid these symptoms and enjoy a healthy life.
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